Two-time winner and four-time nominee for the Dora Mavor Moore Award, Native Earth’s production of Cliff Cardinal’s Huff is back in Toronto this October!
Huff premiered at Aki Studio as part of Native Earth’s 2015 season. In 2016, Huff had an enormously successful nine-city national tour, followed by an international tour in 2017 to Australia and England, with an additional stop in Manitoba.
Director & Dramaturge Karin Randoja
Playwright & Performer Cliff Cardinal
Set & Costume Designer Jackie Chau
Lighting Designer Michelle Ramsay
Sound Designer Alex Williams
Stage Manager Jennifer Stobart
Production Manager Pip Bradford
Native Earth Performing Arts is pleased to announce our new Artistic Director Ryan Cunningham, whose fresh leadership and zealous vision will move NEPA into yet another exciting era of creating strong Indigenous work for our community and beyond.
“We were impressed and excited about many of Ryan’s ideas for Native Earth, which included multidisciplinary connections with the arts community and the national Indigenous community,” says Jed DeCory, President of NEPA’s Board of Directors. “We feel that with his energy and vision we will be able to continue on a path to a positive future.”
Ryan is a proud Métis (Cree/Scottish) from Edmonton, Alberta and has worked as a professional actor across Canada. He is the co-founder and Artistic Manager of Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and the co-curator/producer of The RUBABOO Arts Festival, which kicks off on January 30th in Edmonton. He is co-founder of The Agkowe Collective which continues to bring the award winning play to communities across Canada and beyond. Ryan is a board member of two prominent national organizations: IPAA (Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance) and the CanDANCE Network.
Ryan recently performed in Yukonstyle at the Berkeley Street Theatre (Canadian Stage). As an actor he has performed in notable productions such as King Lear and The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (National Arts Centre), Urinetown: The Musical and Vimy (Firehall Arts Centre) and Next Year’s Man of Steel (Shadow Theatre). Ryan can be seen right now on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) in the third season of the award winning series Blackstone, as well as Mixed Blessings, Earth: Final Conflict and Blue Murder.
Ryan’s involvement with Native Earth began as an actor in the fall of 2003 during the 16th Weesageechak Festival. He has been a featured actor in NEPA mainstage productions: Annie Mae’s Movement, Death of a Chief and Dreary & Izzy. Ryan was a Festival Associate at Native Earth supporting the 23rd annual Weesageechak Begins to Dance.
Native Earth welcomes Ryan to its community and family. We look forward to sharing his artistic vision in the months to come as he steps into our office as of January 6, 2014.
Native Earth Performing Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating and producing Native performance works. Founded in 1982, Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Native theatre company. Native Earth has participated in the development of a community of artists, and in the creation of several Aboriginal classics including Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing by Tomson Highway, Someday by Drew Hayden Taylor and Moonlodge by Margo Kane. In 1989, Native Earth instituted an annual development festival of new work called Weesageechak Begins to Dance. Since then, the Weesageechak Festival has helped develop over 100 new dance and theatre works by emerging and established artists, including Princess Pocahontas and the Blue Spots by Monique Mojica, Annie Mae’s Movement by Yvette Nolan, Tales of an Urban Indian by Darrell Dennis and Gordon Winter by Kenneth T. Williams.
The millennium has brought about a great deal of change at NEPA, and has also brought us around, full circle, reconnecting us to our beginnings. In 2004-2005 Yvette Nolan helmed the largest Native Earth production in years, The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements featuring a cast of thirteen. As ever, NEPA set a new standard, and the show was selected by NOW Magazine as one of the Top Ten theatre productions of 2004. Our relationship with Indigenous peoples abroad has expanded and deepened, with the epic Honouring Theatre Tour of Turtle Island, Aotearoa and Australia. We braved Death of a Chief, a landmark adaptation of Julius Caesar (co-production with the NAC) and a full-scale opera (Giiwedin, a co-pro with An Indie(N) Rights Reserve) which played with both legally recognized official languages as well as Anishinabemowin. The second decade in the new millenium connects NEPA to its roots with the ongoing demand for the now canonical work, Almighty Voice and His Wife.
Native Earth’s training initiatives feature the creation programs Animikiig and Thundering Voices, diverse practical apprenticeships and on-the-job skills acquisition on professional level projects, including full-scale productions.
Our thirty-first anniversary season will focus thematically on “Community” as we continue to plant roots in our new NEPA home, with a playing space and administrative headquarters at the Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre.
Weesageechak Begins To Dance – 26 November 21-23, 2013
Join us as Weesageechak begins to dance for the 26th time. This year’s festival places a special emphasis on local Indigenous artists and their works in development!
Day One: Thursday, November 21 @ 8pm
Rutas Festival Preview *A Sneak Peak of our partnership with Aluna Theatre’s Rutas Panamericanas Festival featuring excerpts of:
Day Three: Saturday, November 23 @ 8pm
Animikiig and Thundering Voices Night *A showcase of new and exciting Indigenous voices featuring our partnership with the 3rd year talents from the Centre of Indigenous Theatre
I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather by Jani Lauzon with direction & dramaturgy by Ruth Madoc-Jones
“It has been a breathtaking ride researching this work. I call it an opera within a play. And while things have changed there are so many things that have not. Especially our relationship to identity and popular culture, the Opera based on Tsianina’s life being the pop culture of the time. This wouldn’t be happening without the generosity of many.” Jani Lauzon
Day 2: Thursday, November 21st @ 8pm
Aki Studio Theatre – 585 Dundas St. East
by Cathy Elliot with direction & dramaturgy by Herbie Barnes
The Chenoo of Mi’qmak tradition is a monster of inconceivable proportions, consuming whole communities. This story is interwoven with a contemporary tale to ask: did Anna Mae Pictou Aquash fall to a similar beast?
Featured in the Animikiig / Thundering Voices night of the festival Saturday, Nov. 23rd @ 8pm*
Aki Studio Theatre
by Beatriz Pizano with direction by Andrew Lamb in association with Roseneath Theatre
La Maleta (The Suitcase) is the story of Roca, a ten-year old refugee who escapes her native Colombia clutching her suitcase – inside of which she believes her grandmother is hiding. Struggling to adapt to a new city, a new school and a new way of life, Roca befriends Paz, a boy with a secret who is being bullied by their classmates.
Opening Night of the festival Thursday, November 21st @ 8pm
Aki Studio Theatre – 585 Dundas St. East